So, You Want to Be a…Marketing Agency Director

by Samuel Pordengerg Mar 21, 2023 News
So, You Want to Be a…Marketing Agency Director

Marketing professionals use strategies and techniques to grow their clients businesses. They create advertising campaigns through multi-channel media, including print, digital, social media, and more. Ensuring that the marketing strategy and messaging is carried through consistently, efficiently, and successfully is the responsibility of the director of a marketing agency.

It's possible to get a BA or MA in marketing, business administration, or a related field without a degree. Training in this field comes from experience.

A good marketing executive can think outside of the box. They are good at listening and connecting with others as well as understanding clients' thoughts, emotions and needs. Good time management skills and being organized are required of them.

The earning potential of a business owner is large. Within two years, the head of a marketing agency can easily earn over $100,000, and grow into a multi-million dollar business.

My Typical Day at Work

All of the clients I work with have a vision, a dream. Our vision is the client's. Our firm applies their creativity and strategy to get the job done. Bottom line is more about results than it is about money. Our goal is to communicate the message of our clients to the broadest possible audience.

In a typical week, I focus about 40 percent of my time on our current clients, which includes meeting with them and giving them direction and guidance. Direct sales make up thirty percent of my time. We need to identify if a client is a good fit and if we can actually help them. We won't take on a client who we don't think is a good fit for who we are and what we do 30 percent of my time is devoted to company vision and growth, which includes my weekly broadcast radio show, which I started in 2015, and which is currently on 710 WOR/iHeartRadio.

The CEO can focus on vision if he has a good team on the frontlines. We pride ourselves on being able to run a managed workflow. I don't like the idea of working until ten p.m. Our team members love spending time with their families. We are respectful of our staff's boundaries. That is why we retain so well.

How I Chose the Profession

In camp, I worked on banners in color war, and in college, I worked on a weekly Torah publication with a friend. I received a scholarship to train for a career in design.

During my three years working for ArtScroll, I received my real training. Rabbi Zlotowitz, Rabbi Shia Brander, and Rabbi Nosson Sherman were my zechus. They taught me a lot.

How I Chose My Specialty

Many of the non-profits that reach out to us for larger campaigns or milestone campaigns are non-profits. Most of the other 40 percent are corporate clients.

What I Love Most about the Field

It's helping people achieve their dreams on a huge scale. Sometimes clients come to us with a great product but only a limited base of clients. We can increase their reach and impact by using marketing strategies.

We have had the zechus to serve as a client for many years, and I feel privileged to interact with great visionaries, such as Dovid Hofstedter from dirshu. John Sculley, former CEO of Apple, and Beth Comstock, former vice chair of General Electric were interviewed on my show.

What I Find Most Challenging about the Field

When a campaign is rejected by the client it can be frustrating. It is an emotional reaction, not based on sound judgement, but at the end of the day, he is the client, and he is always right.

It can take a long time for results to show up. You wouldn't plant seeds in the ground and then wake up the next day and say, "I don't see anything growing; this was a waste of money" People need to be patient. It can sound self-serving if you tell a client that you want to get him to spend more money on more campaigns.

I’ll Never Forget When

I was hoping to get a prestigious account when I sat in the meeting. At the end of the meeting, the client turned to me and said, "Yitzchok, you must not be a very busy guy." I wondered why he thought so. He said that for two hours you didn't get any phone calls or email. I said my phone buzzed a lot. I didn't take the calls because I was with you He tolditzchok that he had the account.

Something I Wish People Knew About Marketing Professionals

If you are going to hire an ad agency, let them do their job. A good marketing firm knows how to create a concept with a strategy behind it. Imagine if a person went to a big-name accounting firm and asked their results, and they said they had a calculator and knew how to add numbers. A person who says they can write or create graphics doesn't mean they know how to engage clients.

How I’ve Seen the Field Change Over the Years

The industry has undergone a lot of change in the last 30 years. When I was training in design in 1989 my professor said, "This is the future of graphic design." Everyone was amazed.

Rabbi Zlotowitz taught me a powerful lesson. ArtScroll invested a lot of money into new equipment in the 1980's. After seeing the Macs and PCs come out and do a better job than the expensive equipment he had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on, Rabbi Zlotowitz embraced it. For me, it was a big deal. Sometimes it's necessary to let go of your investment in order to move forward.

My Advice for People Starting Out

It may sound cliché, but it's important to know what you like. If you stay in that space, you can turn it into a parnasah. You will do it better if you love what you do. Many people just work at their job.

Communication skills are needed to be successful in this field. Marketing is not for people with bad communication skills. Natural skills help to develop them further. I've been in the field for 25 years and took the Dale Carnegie course.

Devorah Wagner
Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel
Director and owner, Identity Marketing, Ramat Beit Shemesh
Years in Field: 20
My Typical Day at Work

I usually begin my day by reading emails. I go with the staff to see where they are. I have at least three in-house designers and developers. I will not compromise even though it can be cheaper to use a freelancer. It is not possible to compare the end result when the full team is involved.

I work on the development stages of a project. I will continue to oversee the work once things are set in stone. I keep an eye on the team to make sure they maintain a uniform brand message.

I spend a lot of time in meetings with both existing and potential clients. I insist on weekly meetings with clients throughout the project because it is important that we are on the same page.

How I Chose the Profession

I trained as a graphic designer because I loved design and wanted to work in that field. It bothered me when people asked for graphics that weren't accurate. A very simple, homey business would want an ad that looked professional.

I started asking questions and trying to understand what each company was about in order to better guide my clients. Clients would ask how they could use the appropriate messaging after I explained why the client's request didn't match the message he wanted to convey. I decided to focus my business on the strategy side of marketing.

How I Chose My Specialty

My strength is strategy, which is developing a marketing approach for the client that is individualized, unique, and research driven. Every single project we do is unique.

What I Love Most about the Field

The results of all of the planning and designing come together, whether it is a logo or a major event. It's amazing to see it all come together.

What I Find Most Challenging about the Field

A lot of people don't believe that big projects will work out, so you need to get rid of that. Courage is needed to believe in your ideas. When you see the results, it's worth it.

Many of my clients are tzedakah organizations that I really believe in, and I feel bad about charging them. I invest in a project and have an entire staff and office to manage. The only way I can do a good job for the organizations is by charging them, but I still find it difficult every time. Investing your heart and effort is something I do.

I’ll Never Forget When

Recently, I had an amazing story to tell. I work on a long-term campaign for an amazing organization that helps almanos and yesomim. The head of the organization sent me a picture of a broken boiler that they had just replaced for a family who had been without hot water.

My husband gave someone a lift after that. The man told him how he woke up to a brand new boiler on the roof. They didn't stop at my door to say thanks.

My husband was taken aback by what he saw. It strengthened us, as much as we believe in what our clients are doing, and it reminded us that these are real people helping real people.

Something I Wish People Knew About Marketing Professionals

Marketing is not convincing people to do something they don't want to do. Being real and genuine is the only way to sell a product.

How I’ve Seen the Field Change Over the Years

Technology has had a big impact on marketing. Social media has taken over. At the end of the day, no matter what medium is used, the basic principles are the same.

My Advice for People Starting Out

If you want to be an effective marketer, you need to understand all of the elements of the process and take a course in graphic or web design. If you don't have the tools, you won't have confidence

Most clients will say, "yesterday" when asked when their deadline is. It took a toll on my family when I worked late into the night to meet deadlines. I try not to take on clients if they don't give me enough time to do the job right. I don't take on campaigns less than four months before the election. When I am in the office, I try to keep my focus on work and not mix it with home time with family. The client and I gain.

Chayale Kaufman
Lakewood, New Jersey
Founder and Owner, Consult Write Media and Jewish Content Network, Lakewood
Years in Field: 19
My Typical Day at Work

A large part of my day consists of calls and meetings with potential and existing clients, as well as managing their campaigns on both the creative and strategic levels.

You just look at the ads before flipping the page or screen. There are a lot of steps that need to be taken to get that ad in your hand.

There is a sales pitch to potential clients.

We start with the creative work after the deal is closed. Depending on the nature of the project, I can either bring on someone else to write for me or I can do it myself.

The vision and copy are shared with the client during the approval stage. Hopefully, they like it, which leads to the design phase. The designers I bring on will bring out the message.

We figure out a marketing strategy while the design is still in progress. We don't know how to get the world to understand this product. How much money must be spent to get people to see it? Which publications should be used? What is the internal marketing of the company? We don't know if we need outdoor media. Magazines should cover this campaign organically. We don't know how to get that to happen.

Every advertising dollar is treated as if it's our own money. If midway through our marketing plan we feel that something needs to be changed, we do so.

How I Chose the Profession

I worked in sales in the Yated for a long time. You learn how to communicate and connect with the customer when you sell something. I built my own marketing agency after learning what people were missing in advertising.

I tell people that they don't need to start in this industry if they want to. If you want to make a difference in the lives of the people you serve, you have to become an asset in the company you work for.

How I Chose My Specialty

Marketing strategy is our specialty. We understand the strategies that are used in the Jewish world. Every single client gets a thought out marketing plan, we have our finger on the pulse, and we learn about new channels for clients to promote themselves.

Chaim and I founded a sister company called the Jewish Content Network. The business is based on knowing all the advertising platforms that are out there.

What I Love Most about the Field

The industry is rewarding. You have the chance to make a big impact by meeting amazing people.

There is nothing like finishing a campaign that raises millions of dollars for a great cause. Any success is a huge blessing from the Almighty.

What I Find Most Challenging about the Field

It can be difficult for clients to micromanage us. If you want to do it your own way, please don't hire us. I won't feel the same responsibility for the results if I feel I don't have the client's trust or the client wants too much control.

I value my clients more than I do their input. You can get me 100 percent with that method.

I’ll Never Forget When

We have been getting calls from successful businessmen who want to make a difference by starting an initiative. I am amazed at how much time and money they devote to making this world a better place. Most of them don't put their names on the initiatives because they just want to make a difference

Something I Wish People Knew About Marketing Professionals

Marketing is more than just writing and designing an ad. Understanding human psychology and how people think is what marketing entails.

How I’ve Seen the Field Change Over the Years

In the last ten years the internet and online world has exploded, but the field is always changing. We used to sell online banners on two websites and press releases. We sell hundreds of different ways to reach the frum market, so messages need to be tailored to fit each product that is being sold in advertising

We have to constantly think of the next thing because the frum world gets boring very quickly. We need to be educated about all of them. New platforms reach out to us because they know we represent a lot of businesses and organizations.

My Advice for People Starting Out

Make sure you always work on self-growth and your connection to the Almighty. I suffered a lot before I found this secret. This is the only way I can stay alive today. You will be better to everyone if you are a better person.

It was originally featured in the issue of Mish Pacha.